There is No P in Team
I’m extremely passionate about the topic of participation! Participation is defined as: The act of taking part or sharing in something or a sharing as in benefits. Do you think of participation in this manner?(Really think!) So what do you participate in? Work? School? A relationship? Hobbies? Volunteering? In a band? I’m willing to bet that the level of participation at which you play in life will be taken to the next notch of accountability with these steps! So … get ready!
1. Be Prepared. Sounds easy, right? But I bet you can think of someone who’s always late to class or work and it’s probably pretty annoying, right? Or maybe someone shows up late everyday to the class that you’re teaching and it gets under your skin? It’s because we’re not aware of several factors, (I went through this myself): we don’t know that our absence makes a difference for other people, we don’t know the impact of being late on other people, we are focused on the center of our universe – ourselves, and the circumstances that arise that cause us to be late become reality instead of just obstacles to overcome. Woah, right? The deeper level of being prepared means letting go of the idea that you are not important to the group or team you’re headed to, and being prepared to deal with negative feelings, people, and situations as they come. When you let it go what will arise is what’s possible for you like happiness, motivation, peace, calmness, you name it. Through that sense of empowerment you’ll take the necessary actions without thinking twice like: leaving early to avoid traffic, dressing appropriately, bringing all necessary tools/equipment, showing up happy, being a contribution, etc. Think for a moment where you feel you don’t matter or make a difference for others – maybe with your friends, or you feel you’re a weak link at work or in your football league. Ok, now STOP IT! Now you’re ready to….
2. Fully Participate. Showin’ up ain’t enough! Stop thinking that arriving early to work means you’re doing you’re best. IT IS helpful, but it’s scratching the surface of fully participating. For example, you might think that you’re just watching your kid do karate at his/her class or maybe a football practice. But by being present for the entire class you are sharing in the benefits your child is learning; sharing in the benefits in which they are engaged. You are a representation to your child(ren) that their time and experiences are valuable, even golden in your eyes, and you have the opportunity to get something out of this experience as well. Do you know the benefits you can receive just by watching a class? If not, then you probably never sat for a full class. Some benefits are: learning the basics of the curriculum so you can support your child’s growth, you can take pictures and make memories for/with your child(ren), you get to know the staff and the real mission behind the Dojo in which you train, you get to be an active family member in the culture of your Dojo, you show your child their value, you show your child you support them, you show them that Karate class should be taken seriously and you expect 100%, you show them spending time building relationships is crucial. But furthermore, participation is something in life that we so quickly forget the value. We pay for an education that so often we end up complaining about, not showing up for, or leave the class with a notebook mural full of empty thoughts and dreams. We’re so afraid of being called upon that we hide, we shrink, and we don’t realize that we actually diminish our possibilities, not just the chances of the professor calling on us. Diminishing your possibility is the same thing as saying not living up to your full potential; our potential of full self expression, happiness, forgiveness, completeness, and the list goes on. What are you prepared to give up and what do you fight for: being fully self expressed or hiding behind your cell phone?
Now check out these wild examples of participation ..Imagine if we fully participated in our dinner. Sounds weird, right? But how many people are painfully overweight, struggling, and now suffering medically? Imagine if we were mentally present while we were eating: feeling gratitude, happiness, peace, and actually feeling full. If we chewed everything we ate first, slowed down, enjoyed, stopped thinking about work, life, guilt, pressure, stress, and just ate. Or what if the next person who gave you a compliment …you actually believed? If we were fully present to the generosity of being complimented we could easily be grateful, but we’re not. We jump to question and criticize if the compliment is real, is it valid, “am I really beautiful” ,based on our internal made up stories (our reality).
We stopped participating so long ago that sometimes it’s hard to again. It could be any area of life for you: work, with your spouse, with yourself, with god, etc.
3. So, Practice! NO, you won’t make a difference in all areas in your life like the productivity of your work, increase your income, lose weight, or be happier by tomorrow. But, if everyday you implement actionable steps, TELL people what you’re up to, and slowly and gently forgive yourself, love yourself, and do the same with those around you, CHANGE will occur. People will notice something different about you and they may or may not tell you, but you will feel the difference, (and that’s OKAY)! In my life I notice by giving eye contact, smiling, feeling grateful for my family and friends, writing thank you letters to my clients, and pushing out my negative energy into my gym workouts, I feel happier, more alive, brighter, a higher level of motivation, better focus, and the list goes on. Through my feeling this way I’ve seen a doctor who can take corrective measures for my back pain, altered what I eat and really pay attention to why I eat it and how I feel, I stay in touch with my family members via phone calls, I get more of my to-do list done during the day, and I stop to ACKNOWLEDGE myself for what I accomplish!
*Comments, likes, and shares are all welcome!*